All Seminar students are required to enroll in one Major Course, a four-credit course that runs for the full six weeks of the Seminar. In addition, Seminar students may enroll in a three-credit Optional Course that runs for four weeks. In completing their applications to the Seminar, students should indicate their first three preferences for a Major Course (Category A) and for an Optional Course (Category B). Descriptions of all courses offered in these two categories are provided below.
Seminar students are also welcome to enroll in the Seminar Colloquium, a one-credit, pass/fail course titled British Studies. It involves attending the Tuesday evening lecture series on British culture (literature, architecture, and social and political history). Students interested in this course should check the appropriate space on their applications.
Applicants should also note the following:
Once accepted, all students must sign a Condition of Membership form in order to enroll in classes. No changes in course enrollments may be made after May 1. Reading lists for courses are sometimes provided to students several weeks prior to the Seminar's opening, and their instructors may expect students to complete some reading prior to the start of the Seminar.
The three-credit Optional Courses are usually offered during the first four weeks of the Seminar, leaving students time in the final two weeks to concentrate on the conclusion of their six-week Major Course.
Course load: Most students can comfortably complete one Major Course, one Optional Course, and the Seminar Colloqium during the six-week period. Applicants should note, however, that completing eight academic credits in six weeks requires some prudent management of time. Those students who plan extensive weekend travel while the program is in session should keep this in mind.
All courses award University of Massachusetts Amherst academic credit in the Department of English. Applicants should ascertain, prior to enrolling, that their home department and home institution will transfer these academic credits awarded by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Grades awarded by the university use the following scale: A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B-(2.7), C+(2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), D (1.0), and F (0). The University of Massachusetts Amherst is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Upon completion of their courses, students will receive both a grade and a written assessment of their work by their tutors. One copy of the assessment is kept by the Seminar; the other is given to the student.
Transcripts of grades and credits earned become a part of the University of Massachusetts’s permanent record. Requests for transcripts should be sent to: Transcript Office, Division of Continuing Education, Suite 201, 100 Venture Way, Hadley, MA 01035, tel. (413) 545-3653. There is a $5 fee for each transcript.
(These are four-credit, six-week courses and every Seminar participant is required to enroll in one)
**Each Category A course is the equivalent of a 300-level class
- Romance Literature
- Reading Jane Austen
- Shakespeare in Love
- The Literary Makings of the Modern Self
- Introduction to International Law
- Tudor and Stuart Britain
- The Politics of Imperial Decline in Britain since 1939
- Graduate Study
(These are three-credit, four-week seminar courses.)
**Each Category B course is the equivalent of a 200-level class
- British Detective Fiction
- British Perspectives on the American Revolution
- Oxford, The City as a Work of Art
- The Supernatural in Renaissance Drama
- Writing Workshop II: Prose Fiction